Hungary Newsflash Week 39

New agro investment subsidies, startup incubation program launch, strategic agreement signing, renewable argiculture program progresses - The week in Hungarian agriculture

A cart packed with freshly harvested apples is placed between apple trees in an orchard.
©Jill Wellington
In the coming period, nearly €5.5 billion will be directly allocated for agro investment subsidies in Hungary.

Tens of billions of euros to be distributed among Hungarian farmers

The Ministry of Agriculture has decided to increase the annual budget of the Rural Development Program. According to the government, the aim is to provide additional opportunities for investments in order to increase competitiveness and efficiency, and to facilitate the transition to environmentally friendly forms of farming. nearly €5.5 billion will be directly allocated to support agro investments.

More than €1.4 billion has been reallocated by the government to this year's Renewable Rural Areas, Renewable Agriculture program. By amending the annual development envelope of the rural development program, an additional €1.46 billion will be available by the end of the year as opposed to the original plans. This will allow for the launch of new calls for applications for investment subsidies.

Finding solutions to current problems in agriculture

The third TechLab agri startup incubation program by the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) was launched in September. The three-month program is open to projects from start-ups and large companies alike. The aim of the program is to pave the way for the emergence of novel agricultural services. Participating start-ups receive expert guidance from agricultural and product development experts.

Large companies are key partners in the diffusion of new solutions and methods in the agricultural sector. The improvements they introduce and apply can have a major impact on domestic farmers.

Among the developments included in the startup program are food safety and quality control tracking systems as well as solutions combining data assets from precision farming with imagery, for example.

During the incubation period, the start-ups will consult with the program’s experts on a weekly basis. The program also supports start-up teams with legal, technology and venture capital investment meetings. The final event of the three-month program will take place on November 24, at the AGTECH summit.

A rustic wooden farm gate in a rural environment
Rural areas will be targeted in the second phase of the Renewable Rural Areas, Renewable Agriculture program.

Two key players in Hungarian agribusiness have signed an agreement

Hungrana Kft. and Vitafort Zrt., two key players in Hungarian agribusiness, have signed a long-term strategic agreement, marking another milestone in their successful cooperation over several years.

Hungrana Kft. is one of the largest maize processors in Hungary and Vitafort Zrt. is one of the leading feed companies in the Central European region and a pioneer in the Hungarian feed market. The companies have been partners for decades.

In addition to commercial transactions, they are involved in a number of joint projects, they work together on research and development issues, and have joint product development and media appearances. One of the milestones of this was the cooperation agreement the two companies signed with the National Agricultural and Research Center (NAIK) last year, under which they will work together with the experts of the research base to further develop GMO-free feed production. The partners are also committed participants of the National Protein Program.

The second phase of the "Renewable countryside, renewable agriculture" program has been launched

The strengthening of rural areas as well as the agriculture and food industry sectors are important goals, which is why the "Renewable countryside, renewable agriculture" program was launched.

In rural development, the Ministry provides 80% domestic co-financing for EU rural development funds.

"The calls for proposals launched in the first phase of our Renewable Rural Areas, Renewable Agriculture program have proved successful, as simpler tendering and faster assessment have enabled a large number of applicants to obtain a grant within a short time and to start their development," Minister for Agriculture István Nagy commented.

Presenting the timetable for calls of applications, Minister Nagy first mentioned the "Agri-environmental payments" and "Conversion to organic farming and maintenance of organic farming" calls, which will be launched in September. In these tenders, farmers will be able to apply on a voluntary basis to achieve the objectives of preserving and improving the environment, reducing environmental pressures, preserving biodiversity and combating climate change, and receive a non-repayable area-based grant.

The stated aim is to increase the number of farmers benefiting from the scheme and to significantly increase the proportion of areas receiving support. For both calls, the commitment period will start from 1 January 2022 and cover a period of 3 years.

Agri-environmental support measures will be announced with a budget of €998 million, while another €998 million will be allocated to organic farming support according to the Minister.

Another subsidy with an envelope of €138 million will be announced for the modernization of feed production plants. €14 million will be allocated to the prevention of environmental damages associated with spring frosts. Another €14 million will be allocated to a new crisis insurance scheme. €47 million will be earmarked for the conservation effort of endangered indigenous livestock and agricultural animal breeds.